A Reader Award Report – China Southern to the Maldives using SkyMiles & Korean SkyPass

by Adam

If you’ve considered taking advantage of the generous award availability on China Southern’s Los Angeles (LAX) to Guangzhou (CAN) route using Delta SkyMiles or Ultimate Rewards, we finally have a short trip report from a reader.  David in NYC writes yesterday:

Hey Adam,

I wanted to let you know that after reading your post on September 6, my wife and I booked two tickets to Male on China Southern Airlines.  We used Delta SkyMiles for one ticket and Korean Air SkyPass miles courtesy of Ultimate Rewards for the other. We were both very hesitant as we had never flown or heard of China Southern before and even though it was an A380, it was still China Southern.  I am happy to say we were both pleasantly surprised.  Was it Singapore or Emirates? No!  Did it beat any US airline? Yes!  The good – we had very comfortable completely flat seats and very large television screens with a good selection of films and shows, the staff was very accommodating and checked on us several times per hour, and the plane was clean and felt new.  The food was decent.  The negatives – the connection time in Guangzhou was almost 12 hours.  If doing this trip again I would recommend taking a day in Guangzhou rather than waiting in the airport from 5am – 4pm (the connection on the way back was a short 2 hours).  The connection flights were on a 777 which was ok, but certainly not up to the A380 standards.  Recliner seats, small TV, 4 stations. It was certainly do-able for the 6 hours, especially knowing we were arriving in Male. Hope to have some pictures uploaded later in the week.  Most important for us is that we were very happy with the value we received – especially with my SkyMiles!

Remember, China Southern allows you to connect from Guangzhou to Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore, and all over Southeast Asia. Additionally, you can use a few more miles to fly onward to Australia or the Maldives. Delta SkyMiles can be redeemed for business class on China Southern while Korean SkyPass members can redeem for business or first class awards. What’s great is that first class space is about as generous as business availability. Korean is a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner meaning you can easily transfer to Korean SkyPass after earning miles with a qualifying card. Taking advantage of all of the big 3 Chase UR cards would net you 140,000 UR points prior to any required spend.

I know of three additional readers heading to Australia via China Southern, another to Bangkok, and one more to the Maldives, I’ll have them each report back once their trips are completed. If you’ve flown the China Southern A380, please comment with your review!

*Jay reports in the comments below that his Male flight had a schedule change.  After some research it seems that the flights to the Maldives will only operate on Thursday and Sunday now.*

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Jay December 4, 2012 - 12:19 pm

Thanks for the post, my wife and I are headed to the Maldives in 2 weeks. Unfortunately China Southern seems to have changed the schedule from CAN to MLE. They rerouted us via KUL on Malaysian on the way there with a similar long layover as described in CAN. We’d already been routed that way on the way back since we planned a stay in KUL as well.

adam December 4, 2012 - 1:09 pm

@Jay – Enjoy your trip and sorry about the re-route. Looks like the flights to Male are only operating on Thursday and Sunday now, thanks for the notification!

Srt8-blue December 4, 2012 - 2:34 pm

How many skypesos did it take for this flight?

adam December 4, 2012 - 2:42 pm

@Str8-blue – 120k skypesos.

Tom Donahue December 4, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Thanks. just booked with the plat desk for 120k in June. The first two agents wanted to charge me 140, finally found one that did it at 120k.

Tom / SitInFirst.com December 4, 2012 - 5:48 pm

Helpful post. Thanks.

choi December 4, 2012 - 9:00 pm

heard the fuel surcharge on skyteams is a killer, would so kindly tell us what was the tax and fuel surcharge. thanks

adam December 4, 2012 - 9:36 pm

@choi – Air France and KLM are heavy on the fuel surcharges but Delta recently without reason eliminated fuel surcharges on most of their partners, including airlines like Virgin Australia that had been charged for some time. This reader paid $138.84 in taxes and fees per ticket.

James McGowan December 5, 2012 - 11:55 pm

MU to MLE used to have a stop in CMB (which you could buy for about 70$ a segment). Is it now non-stop?

Robert Perlberg December 8, 2012 - 10:01 am

What are the flight attendants holding in the photo?


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